Season’s Greetings

From The Desk of President Barbara A. Perkins

December is my favorite month of the year! Why? December brings me joy!

The first reason I love December is that it is a time for spiritual reflection. As a young girl growing up in the Bahamas, I always took part in the Christmas activities at my church. Religious celebrations were the priority in my family. My aunt would say almost daily, “Jesus is the reasonfor the season.”

December is also the month before my birthday, which I am always excited to celebrate. As I look forward to January 8th, when I hope to celebrate another year, I am reminded of how blessed and how fortunate I have been in 2021. Spending over a week hospitalized after contracting Covid-19, continuing to endure long-haulers symptoms, and chronic fatigue, have reminded me to value the smaller things in life unlike ever before.

Another reason December is so special to me is that this is the month that I set my intention on improving myself for the next year. I spend a considerable amount of time in December thinking about how I can be a better version of myself, for the purpose of inspiring others. December is the month that I seek new life lessons, look to be stronger as a woman of faith, a better wife, mother,

sister, family member, leader, and friend.

This time is not just to pick apart things I could have done better, but to give thanks for the efforts I made along the way. It is also a time for recommitting myself to this beautiful life of service to humanity through the work and activities of the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute.

Happy December everyone. May you find joy in this season. May your dreams and desires be as big as your blessings in 2022.


Barbara A. Perkins

Extraordinary Philanthropists: The Board of Directors of IBWPPI

Piece By: Synthia Saint James

When Ka Flewellen and I acted on my vision to start the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute in 2009, there was no detailed plan in place. We knew, however, that the implementation and sustainability of this big vision would require a unique group of talented in piduals, who would sign-on

to be brand ambassadors, funders, volunteers extraordinaire, and in piduals with a strong faith in God.

As we close out 2021, in this last newsletter for the year, I want to introduce you to this unique group of women that have inspired me and deposited hope in the lives of thousands internationally and in the United States. These are the women who make up the Board of Directors for IBWPPI and the AdvisoryBoard.

Please allow me to call the roll and salute them:

Advisory Board

  • Hon. Diane E. Watson
    Retired United States Congress
  • Hon. Paula A. Cox
    Former Premier and Minister of Finance-Bermuda
  • Carolyn Webb De Macias
    Vice President Emerita, University of Southern California
  • Alva Adams Mason
    Director Multicultural Relations and Strategy, Toyota Motor Sales
  • Mattie McFadden Lawson
  • Angela J. Reddock-Wright
  • Katherine Smith
    PR and Marketing Consultant
    Managing Director, Disaster Reconstruction Authority-Bahamas
  • Ka Flewellen
    Co-Founder IBWPPI
  • Lisa M. Fowler
    Global Head of People Operations HR, Dallas-Fort-Worth Metroplex

Board of Directors

  • ​Barbara A. Perkins, President, GA
  • Kathlyn Adams-Seay, 1st Vice President, FL
  • McGhee Williams Osse, 2nd Vice President, IL
  • Bernita McCann, Treasurer, OH
  • Gloria Dill, Secretary, Bermuda
  • Simone Smith-Bean, Financial Secretary, Bermuda
  • Dr. Lula Ballton, Chaplain, GA
  • Coralie Adderley, Director of Global Engagement & Protocol, Bahamas
  • Cheryl Brownlee, Director, CA
  • Monique Earl, Director, CA
  • Dr. Rhonda Glover Reese, Director, FL
  • Michellene Davis, Director, NJ
  • Marie Yolaine Toms, Director, Haiti
  • Cynthia Heard, Director, CA
  • Dawn Sutherland, Director, Ghana
  • Kellie Todd-Griffin, Director, CA
  • Juanita Palacios-Sims, Director, Cuba

These are the Extraordinary Philanthropists. Dedicated to serving the underserved. I am honored to be in community with each of you. May your Health, Joy, and Peace be multiplied in 2022.

Announcing the Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy Class of 2022

Congratulations to the new  2022 class of the Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy


  • Felicity Ashun, Elimina, Ghana
  • Shanice Battle, Georgia, USA
  • Tshombc Buckman, North Carolina. USA
  • Chantal Blanc-Charite, Nassau, Bahamas
  • Teshieka Curtis-Pugh, Washington, DC, USA
  • Brooke Floyd, Mississippi, USA
  • Tinee Furbert, United Kingdom
  • Ogechukwu lrono, Washington, DC USA
  • Tiffany James, South Carolina, USA
  • Yonelle Moore Lee, Esq, Guyana
  • Annie McDaniel, South Carolina, USA
  • Fadzai Mafudze, Zimbabwe
  • Taylor Newkirk, Maryland, USA
  • Angela Nijdeka Okafor, Nigeria
  • Nnenna Onwuzo, Texas, USA
  • Sharon Palacio, Belize
  • Bridgette Rahming, Nassau, Bahamas
  • Maria Reyes, South Carolina, USA
  • Margie Scott, Louisiana, USA
  • Myriam Mondestin Sorrentino, Haiti
  • Brianna Smith, Texas, USA
  • Karen Wright-Chisolm, South Carolina. USA

Meet the Distinguished Faculty and Coaches of the new 2022 class of Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy


  • Monorvi Asampong
  • Lena Kennedy
  • LaTosha Brown
  • Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever
  • Norbert Noguera
  • Barbara Perkins
  • Maxine Attong
  • Kimberly Bassett
  • Alicia Jacobs
  • Tina McKinnor
  • Hon. Katherine Smith


  • Barbara Sullivan
  • Dr. Kim Cliett Long
  • Kellie Todd
  • Dr. Rhonda Glover-Reese
  • Dr. Lula Bailey-Balton
  • Michellene Davis
  • Marcia Melancon
  • Dr. Jennifer Jones


Membership Spotlight: Opal Enriquez

Opal Enriquez | Orange Blouse | IBWPPI

Opal Enriquez officially became a member of IBWPPI upon completion of the DIH Global Leadership Academy class of 2021. She has known President Perkins or as she sometimes calls her, “Mama Barbara” since they met at the Belize Consulate. President Perkins has worked with Opal as her personal mentor since 2015 and has continued to be a source of support for Opal, even as she enrolled in the DIH Global Leadership Academy.

Opal has experienced many achievements in recent years, including but not limited to her All-natural Skincare Line: Opal’s Glow. She has also been a frontline medical worker for about 20 years and is currently serving on the COVID-19 frontline as a Neonatal and Pediatric Clinical Specialist in Respiratory Care.

This past summer, Opal was able to teach newborn resuscitation to nurses and
midwives in the Cordelia-Sutherland Birthing Center, a clinic IBWPPI helps fund. Being privileged enough to work in US hospitals with an influx of resources and adequate nurses presented Opal with a humbling experience to understand and learn from others when she arrived in Ghana. Opal was able to interact with women who have different clinical knowledge and methodologies in the field. She noticed their passion and instinct and was able to connect with them from a medical perspective and aided them in making their nursing practices more convenient and modernized.

Opal has been doing work as a Belizean ambassador for years and has recently recruited the Mayor of Belize as a candidate for the 2022 Class of the Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy! This connection with the Mayor has provided her with the opportunity to be awarded a key to the city of Belize and many other accolades. Opal’s time with IBWPPI has taught her the importance of learning the difference between recognition and calling in one’s life!

Barbara-Perkins-Opal-Enriquez _Ghana2021_
Opal with President Barbara Perkins

Opal Enriquez with autistic Son
Opal is the mother of a 13-year-old son


Message from Membership

IBWPPI invites you to either join or renew your annual membership with us as we enter the New Year. Join as a new member or renew your membership online.

As we continue to adjust to the new normal, we want IBWPPI to be a home for Black women who want to connect, heal and support one another. Consider gifting yourself with membership and joining a network of global Black women.

Thanks from your Membership Coordinator, Taylor Newkirk

Why Join IBWPPI?

IBWPPI started 13 years ago in the spirit of global unity and sisterhood. Our mission is to connect and advocate for Black women globally through acts of kindness and public policy. We thank our members and ask that you continue


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